More troubling news for The Richards Group. Just a day after Home Depot left the agency due to founder Stan Richards’ racist remarks during an internal review, Cracker Barrel and Keurig Dr Pepper have now distanced themselves from the award-winning independently owned agency.
More hits for Richards Group: Cracker Barrel says it has dropped Richards Group from its agency review, while Keurig Dr Pepper confirmed that it will cut ties with the agency, as clients continue to distance itself from the Dallas-based agency due to racist remarks from its founder.
The agency now has a statement on its website. While it does not name Richards by name it addresses his gaffe asking forgiveness and prayers:
“In the over four decades I have had the privilege of working at The Richards Group, the agency has never been party to nor tolerated racism in any form. We exist to endear brands to all people. Our brand has been tarnished. Like all businesses and organizations, we have a lot of work to do to further societal change. As the person now responsible for all the operations of The Richards Group going forward, I commit to doing everything in my power to stay focused on that goal.
We understand and regret the pain and concerns of all those who were deeply troubled by the words our founder spoke. He can’t take them back. We can only ask for forgiveness and promise to learn and be better. We ask our many friends for understanding and prayers as we move forward.”
Glenn Dady, Principal/Creative Director
On Tuesday, Motel 6, who had been a client for 34 years, confirmed that it had cut ties with Richards after Stan Richards blurted out during a creative internal reiew that a campaign was “too Black.” He added it would also risk alienating the motel chain’s “white supremacist constituents.”
Then Home Depot, one of the world’s largest advertisers, severed their relationship saying, We do not tolerate discrimination in any form, so we were shocked and saddened when we learned of this incident. We have immediately begun the process of finding a new advertising agency.”
Keurig Dr Pepper, which has used the agency for select project work, today confirmed it would no longer work with the shop according to Ad Age. “We stand against discriminatory acts or speech of any kind and expect everyone associated with our business to hold themselves to the same standards. As a result, we are ending our work with The Richards Group,” the company said in a statement.
According to Ad Age, both Orkin and the University of Texas—whose advertising and PR school carries Stan Richards’ name—is holding discussions with staff, students and faculty about how to respond.
“Orkin has a zero tolerance policy for hate, bigotry, racism and discriminatory actions and statements at our workplaces. This applies to all Orkin employees and extends to our agency partners and others involved in our business. We are very disappointed to hear the news, and we are currently evaluating our relationship,” Orkin said in a statement.
Dean Jay Bernhardt, who leads University of Texas’ Moody College of Communications which houses the Stan Richards School of Advertising and Public Relations, told Ad Age, “We find these reported remarks to be strongly concerning, and we recognize the hurt and pain they have caused. We are actively seeking more information to better understand what occurred. We have been in contact with The Richards Group and plan to speak directly with Stan very soon.”
Richards Group reported $201 million in revenue in 2019. That has gone down substantially. Remaining clients include Firehouse Subs, H.E.B., Duke’s mayonnaise, Hobby Lobby, and Fiat Chrysler.
SOURCE: Ad Age